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A - D

A Admittance
A&E Accident and emergency
AB Antibiotic
ABX Antibiotic
AC Before meals (medication)
Access to health records act (1990) Click here for document
Acronym Written and pronounced as one word, an acronym is made up of the first letters in a group of words.
AD Advance directive
AD Anxiety disorder
AD Anti-depressant
AD Up to (medication)
ADAPT Adapt eating distress (Charity)
ADD Attention deficit disorder
ADHD Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder
ADL Activities of daily living
Addiction A strong, habit forming, and usually harmful physical or mental need for a substance or sensation. 
ADL Aids to daily living
ADR Adverse drug reaction
ADT Admissions, Discharge and Transfers
Advocate A person who represents the interests of another person or cause.
AE As expected
Affect The external expression of emotion
Agitation An involuntary state of nervous excitment or anxiety that may or may not present with corresponding physical symptoms.
Agoraphobia An anxiety disorder characterised by fear and/or panic in the face of perceived danger or severe discomfort in an environment or situation
ALF Acute liver failure
Alternative therapies Systems or treatment types that are not included in the list of those commonly used by any one country or area.
Alzheimers Progressive deterioration of mental capacity, often identified with memory loss but also affecting language and thinking.
AMH Adult mental health
AMH Action mental health (Charity)
AMHD Advance mental health directive
AMHP Approved mental health professional
AN Anorexia nervosa
ANA Anorexia(ic)
Analgesic A pain-reliever
Antibiotic A medicine that fights bacterial infection
Anorexia Nervosa An eating disorder where a person is driven to reach the lowest possible body weight.
Anti-depressant A medication that treats diagnosed depression
Anti-inflamatory A medication used to reduce certain signs of inflammation, as swelling, tenderness, fever, and paindepression
Anti-psychotic A medication used in the treatment of psychosis, especially schizophrenia, and acute or severe states of mania, depression, or paranoia.
Anxiety Click here for information
Anxiety attack A sudden-onset episode of severe and debilitating anxiety that often presents with symptoms such as tightness in the chest, difficulty breathing. Triggers vary from person to person and may at times seem unrational to others looking on.
AP Active participation
AP Anti-psychotic
Approved social worker Approved social worker
APPT Appointment
AR Adverse reaction
AS Attempted suicide
ASIST A course - Applied suicide intervention skills training
ASL Activities of daily living
Aspergers A developmental disorder characterized by severely impaired social skills, repetitive behaviors, and often, a narrow set of interests, but not involving delayed development of linguistic and cognitive abilities: now considered one of the autism spectrum disorders.
ASD Autistic spectrum disorder
ASW Approved social worker
ATC Around the clock
ATP Authority to proceed
Atypical Beyond the range that is considered typical
Autism An autism spectrum disorder that is usually characterised by social interaction difficulties and non-verbal communication.
Ax Assessment


Baby blues A colloquial terms for a period of depression  in a woman that follows the birth of her child
BAD Bipolar affective disorder
Bamford review (2002-2011) Bamford review of Mental health and learning disability (NI)
BDD Body dysmorphic disorder
BDZ Benzodiazepine
B-eat An eating disorder charity
Benzos Service user slang for ANY benzodiazepine medications (most commonly diazepam)
Beta-blocker A type of medication used primarily to reduce the heart rate or treatment of angina, hypertension, or arrythmias.
BHSCT Belfast health and social care trust
BID Twice a day (medication)
Binge eating  Periods of compulsive eating that are not necessarily followed by purging
BL Body language
Blister pack A pack with individual sealed pockets to house medications over 4 timeslots and 7 days. Prepared by pharmacists on direction of GPs to assist with correct dosing.
BMA British medical association
BD Bipolar disorder
BD Twice daily (medication)
BID Twice a day (medication)
B/P Binge and Purge
BPD Borderline personality disorder (see EUPD)
Bulimia An eating disorder characterised by frequent episodes of grossly excessive food intake followed by self-induced vomiting to avert weight gain (Binge & Purge)
BT Blood test
Butterfly project Internet sourced peer suggestion for dealing with self-harm urges) Original source unknown
BZ Benzodiazepine
BZD Benzodiazepine


CAMHS Child and adolescent mental health services
Capacity Bill (Mental capacity bill) Tabled at Stormont 2015 this bill seeks to bring together pieces of existing legislation around mental health and mental capacity
Care plan The  outcome of an assessment - a plan of needs and how they will be met
CAT Computerised axial tomography (scan type)
CAT Crisis assessment and treatment
CB Challenging behaviour
CBA Cost and benefit analysis
CBT Cognitive behavioural therapy
CC With food (medication)
CCBT Computerised cognitive behavioural therapy
CCT Community care team
CCP Critical control point
CDU Clinical decision unit

Clinical and Excellence awards committee

CEC Clinical education centre
CFH Cry for health
CHL Crisis helpline
CIS Community information system
CMHT Community mental health team
CMO Chief medical officer
CNO Chief nursing officer
COBPD Childhood onset bipolar disorder
CPD Continuing professional development
CPN Community psychiatric nurse
CPTSD Complex post traumatic stress disorder
CR Constructed reality
CRG Community reference group
CS Coping strategy
CUP model

Carer/service user/professional

(The new model of partnership working)

CYM Change Your Mind - a regional anti stigma campaign www.changeyourmindni.org


D Delusion/Delusional
Data protection act (1998) Click here for document
DBT Dialetical behavioural therapy
DD Due diligence
DDA Disability discrimination act (1995)
DDA Disability discrimination act (2005)
DDX Dual (or double) diagnosis
DEL Delusion/Delusional
DFT Distance from target
DHSSPS Department of health and social services and public safety
Disability discrimination act (1995) Click here for document
Disability discrimination act (2005) Click here for document
Disability living allownance Click here for information
Discharge After full assessment, allowing a person who has no further need of a particular service to cease treatment - this does NOT negate possibility of referral on to a different area of care or future re-referral to the original should need arise.
DLA Disability living allowance (coming to end)
DNA Did not attend
DNAR Do not attempt resuscitation
DNR Do not resuscitate
DOA Date of admission
DOD Date of discharge
DPA (1998) Data protection act
DSH Deliberate self harm

The 5th edition of the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (2013)

(A guide for diagnosis criteria)

Dual diagnosis This can cause confusion as the professionals use this specifically to mean the presentation of both a mental disorder and an addiction at the same time, however common language on peer forums etc uses it to mean having been diagnosed with two different disorders at the same time
DX Diagnosis


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